The Music's Over

but the songs live on forever

  • Join 302 other subscribers

  • Follow And Like

  • Meta

Posts Tagged ‘Lee Hays’

Died On This Date (June 6, 2015) Ronnie Gilbert / Folk Music Great; The Weavers

Posted by themusicsover on June 6, 2015

Ronnie Gilbert
September 7, 1926 – June 6, 2015

ronnie-gilbertSimply put, Ronnie Gilbert was folk music royalty.  Along with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Fred Hellerman, Gilbert formed the Weavers in 1948.  Based in the folk mecca of New York’s Greenwich Village, the band was arguably the most influential folk group the scene had ever produced.  Artists and activists like Joan Baez, Bob DylanMimi & Richard Farina, and Peter, Paul & Mary were all products of the folk revival they kicked off by putting a contemporary spin on folk music.  The band gained popularity, mostly by word of mouth, while their songs resonated with so-called progressive causes like civil rights and workers’ rights.  Their recordings of “If I Had a Hammer,” “This Land is Your Land,” and “Goodnight Irene” – among many others – became folk music standards.  During the 1950s, the Weavers became a victim of the “Red Scare,” causing them to become blacklisted from radio stations, television and beyond.  Due to a lack of bookings and recording opportunities that followed, the band broke up.  But in 1955, they reunited for a much-heralded performance at Carnegie Hall, which lead to renewed interest in their music.  The group continued on, though with Erik Darling replacing Seeger, over the next decade before calling it quits again.  Gilbert went on to enjoy a career in theater as well as as a solo recording artist.  In 1980, the surviving Weavers reunited once again to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall.  Ronnie Gilbert was 88 when she passed away on June 6, 2015

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Click to find at amazon.com


Posted in Folk, Singer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (January 27, 2014) Pete Seeger / American Folk Singer and Activist

Posted by themusicsover on January 27, 2014

Pete Seeger
May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014

pete-seegerPete Seeger is regarded by many as the single most important figure of the American folk music revival of the late ’50s/early ’60s.  Just as important to many, he used his talent and popularity to shine a light on social injustice, poverty, environmental issues, anti-war movements, and more.  Born into a highly academic  and musical family in New York City, Seeger was exposed to music at a very young age.  Educated primarily in boarding schools, he was very well-educated and somewhat withdrawn until he found his spotlight while entertaining classmates with a ukulele he picked up on his own.  By the late ’30s, he switched over to the banjo, the instrument he would help popularize three decades later.  As the years went on, Seeger went from small festival folky to cultural hero thanks in part to his songs that would become the soundtrack to the ’60s Civil Rights Movement and beyond.  Tunes like “If I Had A Hammer” written with Weavers band mate, Lee Hays), “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” have become folk standards as well as part of the fabric that is American music.  They, and many others, have been recorded by a who’s who of pop, rock and folk singers throughout the past half century.  To name just a few of his honors, Seeger has received the National Medal Of Arts, the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a George Peabody Medal, and multiple Grammys, including one for Best Children’s Album in 2010.  To list those who could rightfully say “if it wasn’t for Pete Seeger…” would take days, but two in particular were Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. It was Seeger who urged Columbia’s John Hammond to produce Dylan’s first album.  Springsteen meanwhile would devote much of his career paying tribute to Seeger, including naming his 2010 album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, which ironically, included no songs penned by Seeger, but whose influence can be heard throughout.  With an astonishing career that spanned 75 years, Seeger remained active up until his final days, including a September 2013 performance at Farm Aid at the age of 94.  Pete Seeger was nearly three months shy of his 95th birthday when he passed away on January 27, 2014.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Click to find at amazon.com



Posted in Americana, Folk, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (August 26, 1981) Lee Hays / The Weavers

Posted by themusicsover on August 26, 2010

Lee Hays
March 14, 1914 – August 26, 1981

Photo by Robert C. Malone

Photo by Robert C. Malone

No doubt effected by the lynchings he witnessed as a child, Lee Hays grew up to become a voice of the people, first as a union activist and later as a folk singer who co-founded the Weavers in 1948.  With the Weavers, Hays co-wrote such classic folk songs as “If I Had A Hammer,” “Wimoweh” and “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.”  Because of his connections with radical groups during his days as an activist, the group was targeted as “communist sympathizers” during the McCarthy era.  In 1950, they were blacklisted, and when brought before the House Committee Of Un-American Activities, Hays pleaded the 5th when questioned about his perceived connections with communism.  No longer able to perform publicly, the Weavers disbanded in 1952.  Hays performed and recorded periodically over the years, most notably on children’s albums as part of Alan Arkin’s the Baby Sitters.  The Weavers reunited in later years for special concert events.  Lee Hays died of heart disease attributed to diabetes on August 26, 1981.  He was 67.  Thankfully, Morgana Kennedy and her team at Vanguard keep finding new ways to celebrate the wonderful music of Lee Hays and the Weavers.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Best of the Vanguard Years - The Weavers

Posted in Folk, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »